It was while I was working for Sky News in 1999, as their technology pundit, (I was then the CEO of a company called The Research Group) and taking part in Michael Wilson's 'Sky Business Report' - every Thursday evening at 7:30 that I met former Cabinet Secretary, Alex Allan. Alex had been tasked by Prime Minister, Tony Blair, to deliver on his vision for an online society, and a quick trawl through Computer Weekly, my weblog and The Observer newspaper archives, will both send you to sleep and show that I had been both broadcasting and writing for the newspapers quite prolifically on that same subject.
Anyway, to cut a long story short and because of my connection with the IT industry, I found myself assisting in the programme, a handful of us, from the office at 70 Whitehall and which became the Office of the eEnvoy.
The Director of Industry in the new unit was Richard Barrington and part of the remit involved educating and reaching out to foreign Governments. In around 2000 - 2001, I found myself in the role of his stand-in and also 'Technology Ambassador' for this Cabinet Office unit representing the UK Government in South Korea, Brazil, Hungary, Greece and more; at one point, indirectly standing in - a convoluted story - for the Trade & Industry Secretary, Patricia Hewitt at the Emirates Forum in Dubai.
When Alex left, he was replaced by Andrew Pinder who started what we called 'the Army of the eEnvoy' from the original seven. Because of my 'Arabist' past, I spent a great deal of time in the Middle East on specific missions and in particular, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Oman and Kuwait. At one point in 2001, I met privately with the personal emissary of the President of Iran in Dubai and passed back a message to No10.
My No10 contact was Ed Richards, now the head of Ofcom but was then one of Tony Blair's personal advisors and the man who inspired me to join the Conservative party. Another close advisor was William Perrin, (Knowledge Economy). On communications issues, I worked with Lucian Hudson who ended-up as assistant to the Deputy PM I believe.
Now, I could go on but if Cllr Nottingham's really that interested or dubious about my history, he simply has to 'Google' the reams of material I've written, such as the seventy page or so study I did for Trade Partners UK of Saudia Arabia and its entry into the internet age. The summary document is here.
At the end of this document, which was published on the DTI website, it states: "An advisor to the UK government's Office of the e-Envoy, Dr Moores assists The Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Trade Partners UK and The British Council and represents the Office of The e-Envoy at international government -focused events and conferences." I can't really think he needs more evidence than that or perhaps he thinks I made that up too!
If that doesn't work, then simply ask Richard Barrington or my other old friend, Alan Mather, former Chief Executive at the Office of the e-Envoy.
Cllr Nottingham, may never have heard of all this and I find his interest in my past flattering. I doubt that everything Tony Blair was doing at the time was cleared through him either! Unlike him, I've never met Gordon Brown and had a smiley picture taken and to tell the truth, I wouldn't want to either
I thought I might add a smiley photograph from my own collection with a socialist, rather than Stalinist Prime Minister. This gentleman is of course Australia's Paul Keating with whom I was having dinner and not simply a smile and staged handshake opportunity.